Anthony Smith has accused T.J. Dillashaw of selling ‘wolf tickets’ for a fight he knew he had no chance of winning against Aljamain Sterling at UFC 280.
Dillashaw was granted a title shot despite harboring a pre-existing shoulder injury that popped out of place multiple times during his fight with Sterling, making for one of the most underwhelming fights on the card.
Practically handicapped for the entire fight, Dillashaw was unable to mount any offense of his own due to the injury, losing via second-round TKO in one of the most lopsided defeats of his career.
The former two-time bantamweight champion apologized for ‘holding up the division’ after the fight but Smith is disappointed he even agreed to the matchup in the first place knowing his shoulder was severely compromised and that he ‘couldn’t even lift his own arm’ in training camp.
“I’ll be honest with you, I’m a little bit disappointed in TJ Dillashaw as a person,” Smith told Michael Bisping during a recent episode of Believe You Me (h/t MMA News). “He sold us all wolf tickets and had everyone super excited for a fight that — I don’t care what anybody says, you can’t lie to yourself. In all your fight buildup and all the stuff you said to other people, you had to look at yourself in the face in the mirror and know what you’re capable of, and what the chances were that that was going to happen.”
“So, you can’t lie to yourself. Him saying, ‘I didn’t know when this was gonna come back around,’ it sounded like a money grab, to be 100% honest with you,” Smith added. “There’s no way if his shoulder went out that easy on that takedown and went out 20 times in training camp, there’s no way you were gonna beat Aljamain Sterling.”
After the fight, Dillashaw slipped to #5 in the UFC bantamweight rankings. He likely has a long road back to title contention.
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